Saturday, February 6, 2010

Verizon's LOST Ad Campaign: Why I wag my finger at you, Verizon, and hiss "Tsk, tsk."

Two major television events scheduled this week made me seriously reconsider my "stick it to the man (you know the one)" decision to abstain from purchasing a TV or paying for cable. They were Tuesday's much anticipated LOST premiere, and tomorrow's Superbowl Sunday starring the New Orleans Saints and some other team whose name, myself being from Louisiana, I can't seem to remember. :P

I caught up on LOST Wednesday night on, a full 24-hours after the rest of the universe and probably, let's not kid ourselves here, the entire galaxy had enjoyed the event in HD from the comfort of couches and easy chairs.

It took near-herculean effort, but I somehow managed to avoid my coworkers' discussions about it all day, usually by sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling "Lalalalalalah!" if I heard a snatch of something that sounded LOST-esque. Sure, I got some looks, but by 6 p.m. when I finally got the chance to curl up in my bed with my laptop and home-cooked frozen potstickers, it was well worth it.

I won't get into too much of the episode's particulars here. I'll let the more talented LOST bloggers handle that. Just know that it was both wildly satisfying and confusing to the point of infuriating madness. So, basically, everything we've come to love and expect from the writers of LOST. Only it was the season premiere, so multiply the amazingness by about 100x... 

Ok, starting to gush and that's never pretty, so I'll move on to my real topic of interest: Verizon's poorly copy edited online ad campaign that premiered on ABC's website alongside the show.

I'm going to preface what I'm calling my "mini-rant" by first acknowledging that I am not, by any means, the Queen of all things grammatically correct. Don't you worry. I am well aware that while writing posts for this blog, in my own laziness or ignorance, I have committed many sins against the Gods of Grammar.

But, in the words of Ron White in his sketch about what he's doing to help the environment (eating the cows), "I'm only one man!" or woman, as it were. 

I am not an industry giant with a slew of employees and the opportunity to delegate the varying production tasks such as page design, copy writing, and copy editing to those more specialized in those areas. Additionally (and unfortunately) my blog does not get the kind of views that their ad campaign, appearing multiple times on both parts 1 and 2 of the season premiere on ABC's website, inevitably will.

I might be a bit more conscious of my P's and Q's if I knew they'd be up for the judgment of thousands. Verizon, evidently, is not of the same mind.

I present to you ladies and gentlemen the the jury, Exhibit A:


 And, a close-up of the crime scene:

This poll appears during every single commercial break throughout both parts 1 and 2 of the season premiere, which is why it stuck with me as something I couldn't take lying down. Every time this popped up, my gut reaction was what can only be described as an inward recoil. I just couldn't believe no one at Verizon saw this, and that it still hadn't been fixed by the next commercial break. And today, a full four days later, it remains.

For those of you who aren't apostrophe Nazis, let me fill you in. The copy should read "Will the island's origins be revealed?" or, if you want to get technical about it, because there are really two islands (although most people just refer to them both in the singular, as if they were one) it could read "Will the islands' origins be revealed?"

It cannot, however, under any circumstances,  read the way it does: "Will the islands origins be revealed?"

What does that even mean? I don't understand. While discussing this with a coworker who's a Production Editor with our company, she played the devil's advocate and joked "Well, if 'islands' is an adjective, it could work." At which point I snort-laughed and milk poured out of my nose while I pushed up my horn-rimmed glasses' frames held together by tape and adjusted my pocket protector.

I know that letting this single instance of advertisement oversight bother me so deeply that I went through the effort of writing this mini-rant devoted to it in the hope that someone from Verizon might come across this and make the madness stop, makes me a category 7 nerd.

But, I don't care. Something had to be said. If only for the sake of what's left of my sanity.

On a lighter note-- I've added my own (carefully copy edited) poll to this blog in the spirit of tomorrow's festivities. So, let me know who you think will emerge through the hours of unabashed chips-and-salsa consumption victorious. The Saints or those other guys? :)


  1. Fits into the same genre as the signs above all the waterless urinals at SMU which say that the installation of these new urinals by "the facility" shows "their" committment to saving water! Most have now been defaced by bored users who mark through "their" and replace it with "its". Famous high end manufacturer's like Kohler should know better....or at least hire someone who does before installing thousands of these signs.

  2. oops I meant manufacturers lol